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Written by Charlotte GraingerCharlotte Grainger

How to list relevant coursework on your resume

13 min read
How to list relevant coursework on your resume
Artwork by:Stas Podgornov
Want to wow recruiters by showing off your college coursework on your resume? Within this guide, we will share the easiest ways to highlight your courses, projects, and examinations on your resume.

By showcasing your most impressive projects and coursework for recruiters to see, you can give yourself the extra edge that might just land you the interview.

Fresh-faced and eager to learn? If you’re a recent graduate with little work experience, the education section of your resume has to shine. Never fear. You can make up for what you lack in hands-on experience by focusing on the lessons you learned at college. 

Showcasing your coursework front and center is one way to go. While including relevant courses and projects on your resume is optional, it’s well worth considering. So long as the coursework is relevant to the job at hand, highlighting it on your resume is a savvy move. 

Perfecting the art of resume creation takes time. Should you want your college coursework to steal the limelight, you need to know how to format it. Here at Resume.io, we’ve got you covered. Within this quick blog, we will take a look at the following topics: 

  • What counts as relevant coursework on your resume?
  • What additional achievements, if any, should you include on your resume?
  • How to include relevant coursework on your resume
  • Tips for writing an effective resume whatever your experience.

What counts as relevant coursework on your resume?

Before you sit down at your computer and get to work, you need to know one thing. What counts are relevant coursework on your resume? The answer depends on the job you’re applying for. So, before you go into too much detail, you should question its value.

Back when you studied for your degree or diploma, you likely completed a range of projects and coursework. Some of these accolades will apply to the jobs you’re applying for, while others will not. Knowing the difference is key. 

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Let’s look at an example to illustrate this point. Say you are applying for a position as an accountant. For this type of position, your coursework in using Microsoft Excel is 100% relevant. You should put it on your resume. However, if you took an additional French language course, it’s unlikely to matter to the employer. Leave it off.

Expert tip

Put yourself in the employer’s shoes. Before you include any coursework on your resume, ask yourself what it tells the hiring manager about you. How does this coursework relate to the role? What skills did it teach you that you will use when on the job? If you can’t answer these two questions, you might not want to include it at all. 

Aside from any relevant coursework, you may want to include projects, awards , or training that you completed while studying. Don’t hold back here. Remember you are up against hundreds of other candidates, and so you need to elevate your application.

How to include relevant coursework on your resume + examples

Do you have some relevant coursework that will knock recruiters’ socks off? You can include these details in your education section beneath the corresponding degree or diploma. However, there are different ways that you can lay this out. If you’re not sure where to start, here are four options that may work well. 

Coursework Resume Example 1: Bullet Points

First up, you can bullet-point the coursework you completed under the diploma title. Recruiters spend a matter of seconds reviewing each new application that lands on their desk. For that reason, keep it short and snappy with this format to grab their attention. 

Example

Bachelor of Arts in Advertising and Media

The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL 

Sept 2008 - Jun 2011

Relevant Coursework: 

  • Graphic Design (Adobe InDesign and Photoshop)
  • Copywriting and Editing
  • History of Advertising
  • Media Law
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Coursework Resume Example 2: Bullet Points and Definitions 

Want to add more weight to your argument? You can use the bullet point and definitions approach. That is what it sounds like. You bullet-point the coursework and add a definition of what you learned. Stick to no more than one sentence to save some space.  

Example

Bachelor of Arts in Advertising and Media

The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL 

Sept 2008 - Jun 2011

Relevant Coursework: 

  • Graphic Design – Intro to basic-level design using Adobe software including InDesign and Photoshop.
  • Copywriting and Editing – Studied the theory behind creating effective advertising copy and the principles of editing.
  • History of Advertising — Research into the history of advertising dating back to the early 1900s up to the modern-day.
  • Media Law — Examination in the fundamentals of media and copyright law.
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Coursework Resume Example 3: Standard List 

Resume real estate is valuable. If you don’t have much white space on this document, you may not be able to bullet-point your relevant coursework. Luckily, there is another option. You can list your achievements beneath your diploma, using a comma to separate them. 

Example

Bachelor of Arts in Advertising and Media

The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL 

Sept 2008 - Jun 2011

Relevant Courses: 

Graphic Design (Adobe InDesign and Photoshop), Copywriting and Editing, Script Writing, Administration, History of Advertising, Photography, and Media Law.

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Coursework Resume Example 4: Mix and Match 

Did you complete an exam in a subject relevant to the job? Don’t forget to include it on your resume. You can use a mix and match approach to get this right. That means listing your relevant coursework using commas and adding your exams below that. 

Example

Bachelor of Arts in Advertising and Media

The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL 

Sept 2008 - Jun 2011

Relevant Courses: 

Graphic Design (Adobe InDesign and Photoshop), Copywriting and Editing, Script Writing, Administration, History of Advertising, and Photography.

Examinations: 

Media Law

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Tips to use when listing coursework on your resume

1. Make sure the coursework is relevant 

Before you include the coursework or project on your resume, ask yourself one simple question: Is it relevant to the job? Consider what value this information adds to your application. What story is it telling a potential employer and why does it matter?

It goes without saying that you should tailor your resume to each job you apply for. The projects or coursework you completed during your bachelor’s degree are likely to be varied. You can’t use a one-size-fits-all approach. To give yourself the best chance of success, you should pick and choose when to include certain projects on your resume. 

2. Keep things brief, clear, and simple 

Chances are, you learned a myriad of skills when completing your coursework. However, when you’re listing it on your resume, it pays to keep things brief. Recruiters don’t have all the time in the world to review your application. The whole thing is over in seconds. With that in mind, you need to keep your coursework or project descriptions short and sweet. 

While you may be tempted to outline every aspect of your coursework on your resume, that won’t do you any favors. To pique the recruiter’s interest, only highlight the parts that are relevant to the job. Why not start with the full explanation and then edit it down?

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3. Proofread and edit your education section 

Adding some coursework or a relevant project to your education section? There’s one thing you don’t want to forget. Proofreading your resume whenever you include new information on it is essential. We all make avoidable mistakes now and then. 

Aside from looking out for spelling and grammatical errors, check the formatting of your resume. When you are adding something new to this document, you need to ensure that it suits the existing style and flow. Make sure you use the same font and layout.  

4. Use specific keywords, if possible 

A massive 75% of recruiters now use an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) . The software sifts through resumes, filtering them by keywords. Put simply, if your resume doesn’t include certain words or phrases, it may end up in the ‘junk’ pile before a recruiter sees it. 

To combat this problem, use specific keywords when listing your relevant coursework. Take a close look at the job advert and note down any job-related words it includes. Including these words within your coursework descriptions could make a major difference. 

5. Quantify your achievements 

Recruiters want to see proof of your achievements. Whether you have an impressive GPA or excelled in an exam, share that information on your resume. If you are using the bullet point and description approach, you can include the details in your sentence. 

Key takeaways

  • Including relevant coursework on your resume will strengthen your application. This approach is particularly useful for candidates with little work experience.
  • Don’t waste space. Before you feature any courses or projects on your resume, make sure they add value to your application.
  • When including relevant coursework on your resume, there are many ways you can go. Consider which option best suits your needs.
  • Don’t add too much detail. You can use a sentence to describe what you learned in each case — but no more than that.
  • Quickly add a separate coursework section to your resume inside our intuitive online resume builder .
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